WB approves $35m loan for Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has approved an additional financial assistance of $35 million to support improved management, planning and development of water resources in the Indus River Basin in Pakistan.

“Water sector issues are enormous and complex and addressing them will require a strategic engagement over the medium and long term,” World Bank country director for Pakistan, Patchamuthu Illangovan said.

This $35 million is in addition to the $38 million given earlier towards improvement of water resources management in the Indus River, the World Bank said in a statement. “Pakistan is among the most affected countries by climate change as its water, food and energy security is largely dependent on its glacial resources located in the Himalaya-Karakoram range,” it said.

The bank said that the additional financing would help enhance the government’s capacity to address basin level management of Indus water resources. “The bank has a long history of partnership and collaboration with the government of Pakistan in the water sector and this additional financing will support water management and distribution, benefit sharing mechanisms, and capacity strengthening for improved water resources management across the country,” Illangovan said.

Discussing the high-level of administrative, engineering and scientific capability required for the successful development and management of the Indus Basin, Javaid Afzal, task team leader of the project said, “The additional financing will be used among other things to upgrade hydraulic research laboratories to provide state of the art physical and numerical modeling facilities to strengthen overall capacity in improved water resources management.”

The bank further revealed that the credit was financed from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s grant and low-interest arm. It would offer a maturity of 25 years, including a grace period of five years.

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